January 26, 2014 – Saint Paul, MN – Sunrise Creative Gourmet is celebrating 100 years of history with a new venture as they open a Twin Cities retail location, factory outlet and a cooperative commercial kitchen with dedicated gluten free space.
Sunrise began in 1913 in Hibbing, MN, by the Forti family and now forth generation Tom Forti is bringing the business to full operation in a new St. Paul location. At this location, the retail focus will be Sunrise pastas, ethnic specialties and bakery products, and a wide variety of Minnesota Made items, most of which will be produced on site. The shared commercial kitchen will also feature cooking classes, chef demonstrations, and tasting events.
“I’ve been immersed in the family business my entire life,” says Forti. After graduating from the University of St. Thomas in 2001, Forti spent three years working retail and restaurants in Sun Valley, Idaho, until moving back to Hibbing in 2004 to reconnect with the business and transform the family retail deli and bakery into a gourmet food wholesaler. Prior to Forti’s recent venture to launch the new location, he worked for Trudeau Distributing, a specialty food distributor, located in Burnsville, MN, where he established important relationships with all metro co-ops, local grocers, and Des Moines based HyVee.
Forti is pairing his knowledge of the business and their customer with his understanding of the wholesale role to expand the business in the Twin Cities. “Investing with other food producers allows all of our businesses to benefit from the economies of scale in the production, sale and distribution of products,” says Forti. “I also believe my family’s rich history of crafting potica, pasties and porketta in our Hibbing location for decades sets us apart from other specialty markets in town.”
Since the 1930’s, Sunrise has been delivering products from the Hibbing location to Iron Range towns like Chisholm, Eveleth, Nashwauk and Virginia and built a loyal customer base. Over the past five years, Sunrise has grown their presence into over 250 grocery stores throughout the upper Midwest and has been a mainstay at the Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Des Moines Farmer’s Markets.
“We’ve remained true to our initial product vision to deliver old world quality with modern convenience,” notes Forti. “Our bronze-extruded pastas are made with locally sourced, high protein flour. The noodles cook in only two to four minutes, and many are infused with all natural spices or vegetables, so all that’s needed is a splash of olive oil.”
Additional lines available at the Sunrise Market include fresh, dry and frozen pasta, sauces, porketta, beef and pork pasties, sarma and quiche. The new retail location will also feature many products from their sister company, Sunrise Bakery, including potica, biscotti, banana flips, cookies and coffee cakes. Hours are Monday – Friday 9:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunrise products can be purchased online at sunrisecreativegourmet.com and can be found in many Twin City grocery stores including all Metro Co-ops, Kowalski’s and many other fine retailers (see locations online).
Media Contact: Jennnifer Gilhoi – firstname.lastname@example.org 612-240-6589.
Store Contact: Tom Forti -email@example.com 612-750-8623.
Guilio Forti was one of thousands of Italians who immigrated to Minnesota’s Iron Range in the early 1900s, hoping for a better life. But Guilio, already 50, was too old to work in the mines as others did. So he put the skills he’d learned as a baker in Rome to work and started Sunrise in 1913.
From their North Hibbing location, the Forti family distributed Italian and Vienna bread by horse-drawn carriages to the mines. Each generation contributed new ideas and products to the business.
Guilio’s son Vincent added mechanization and a line of pastries, donuts and cakes. Vincent’s son, Thomas, together with his wife, Mary, created a deli that featured imported delicacies and foods long cherished by the Iron Range’s diverse immigrant population. And now their son, Tom—the fourth generation Forti—is helping Sunrise bring its Italian entrees, pastas, sauces and other ethnic specialties to locations throughout Minnesota.
A lot has changed since Guilio fired up his first oven, but Sunrise continues to adhere to the philosophy that has sustained it for nearly 100 years: Quality food made with care and skill, true to its Italian origins.
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SAINT PAUL, MINNESOTA